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This paper is a written analysis of my personal experience with the "din in the head" theory proposed by Dr. Elizabeth Barber and Dr. Stephen Krashen (Barber 1980; Krashen 1981). I experienced this din firsthand during a three day trip to Montreal, Quebec in Canada and a subsequent three day trip to Roma, in Italia. I will propose that the language din suggested by professors Barber and Krashen does exist. Furthermore, I will show how the Spanish din with which I had become familiar with from my classes at the School for International Training hindered, and at times prohibited, my production of French (French being a language I have spoken with intermediate to advanced fluency since the age of six). I will also explain how I, and Italian neophyte used that same Spanish din to assist in the comprehension of seventy five percent of spoken Italian and to assist me in speaking basic conversational Italian. This Spanish din was augmented by a new Italian din which I was receiving through conversations, both in Spanish and Italian, with our Italian tour guide, Susanna de Pinto. I also wish to examine how language teachers can benefit from the application of din theory in their classroom. I plan to discuss some ways in which teachers can use this information to help sustain student excitement about the language learning process. Stephen Krashen states in his book Insights and Inquires into Second Language Teaching, Immersion and Bilingual Education Literacy, Selected Essays: If the "Din" creates a sort of language craving in students "we are led to the hypothesis that language acquisition is a natural and enjoyable process for anyone as long as the right kind of input is provided (Krashen, pg. 41, 1985).


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | First and Second Language Acquisition